University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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deadpoetnsp
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby deadpoetnsp » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:25 pm

Are 1Ls at all T-50, T-25 or even T-14 schools happy with each class and each Prof from their 1L year? Aren't complaints against LW programs pretty universal across all law schools? Just search for "legal writing" here on TLS.

Laptops weighing 10-20 lbs? Really? Last I checked, a T420 CTO 4180 weighed 4.9 lbs (specs here: --LinkRemoved--) which is great! There's a reason most of the business world prefers Thinkpads, and the T420 model is an established, well-known workhorse (don't take my word for it, google away). Yes it's clunky and ugly and I don't like the forced laptop program myself, but surely there's no need to exaggerate! You mentioned that your 1L class had effectively staged mass protests about an issue. If there's universal dissatisfaction with the laptop, why wasn't there a similar mass protest? Most of my 1L section mates don't care! There are 1 or 2 (including me) in each section who hate the policy, but the section has not universally expressed 'hate the machine' so far.

Dark, smelly classrooms? Us 1Ls have spent the last 6 weeks (including orientation week) talking about the law school, faculty, facilities, classrooms, the library, etc, and no one from my section ever voiced any complaints about the facilities being dark or depressing or inadequate or the faculty being anything less than great. I have visited Illinois Law, and it has very similar facilities. For every dark picture of UMN chosen to be posted above, a bright picture can be posted.

I met and spoke to more than 20 prospective students during one of the preview weekends. That was a bunch of applicants who had multiple offers, were shopping around, and had every reason to state any perceived deficiency in the facilities. Why did most of those students say that all law schools they had seen were more or less the same?

With reference to ExamSoft, how many others complained of a similar problem? How come none of the dozens of 2Ls and 3Ls we have interacted with never said anything about a potential problem with ExamSoft? If there were more than a few, why didn't they talk as a group to the Dean about it to get something done? Why no mass protests about it?

The job market is exactly the same as that for any other school with a similar rank. Can you point to a single T25 school where 3Ls are bubbling with joy about the job market? I have met people from Illinois, Indiana-Bloomington and WUSTL who were extremely disappointed with the job situation. None of us expected UMN to provide stellar biglaw job options. Right from law preview weekend and orientation, the administration has made it clear that we are responsible for finding jobs and not the career services office. Why blame the school for the economy, when it is amply clear that the overall legal market has bottomed out?

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buddythedog
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby buddythedog » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:16 pm

Well it is getting a little aggressive in here, isn't it?

I just wanted to put another positive opinion out there since I've enjoyed my time here so far.

If you have any questions for a 2L who is happy to be a law student at UMN, PM me - I won't be keeping up with this thread.

Good luck with the this year's application cycle.

jdamond
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby jdamond » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:01 pm

WTF? I can't believe this discussion is for real! Intense, guys.

Sorry to crash the thread, but I gotta say that from my point of view as a MN 3L, the OP is spot on about everything except one thing. The school is overall pretty fucking shitty, and the administration has been pretty terrible my entire time here. The physical building seems to be getting WORSE over time, and the U's RELATIVE competitiveness has declined compared to other schools. The teachers are okay, although a lot of them can't teach. What I mean is that they are pretty smart. But it's not enough to save the school from overall being a giant dog shit.

Major props to the guy for taking the time to list all the problems with the school and taking pictures and video and stuff. When you lay it all out like that, you really start to realize just how bad it is here.

I'm surprised anyone is defending the place. The dead poet guy is just a 1L. He'll come around to hating the place soon enough. :wink: But what's up with douchebag Buddy? Looks like Buddy is running for gunner of the week. Dude totally tried to pick a fight with OP and got his ass handed to him, and now he says it's too hot in the kitchen and he isn't going to be posting here anymore? Weak sauce, bitch.

The one thing that OP got totally wrong is his attitude. Yeah, Minnesota is a giant pile of dog shit. I don't personally know anyone here who would deny it, except maybe the employees. But how do you think you're going to survive all the way to graduation if you let it in? If you don't mind a little friendly advice, you need to learn to shut it out. You have to learn to pretend it's all good, or you'll kill yourself. When you look at the dung pile of a building, you can't notice all these problems. You have to ignore it. And when the wifi dies, you have to THANK the school for relieving you from the 24/7 technocentric world. And when the administration screws you, then you have to blame yourself. Or bad luck. Or you just learn to 'take it' and enjoy it like a bitch. You just won't make it unless you learn to dissociate yourself from reality a little bit. Good luck, dude.

:( :( :(

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beachbum
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby beachbum » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:43 pm

So... who's still applying to Minnesota?

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Helmholtz
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:50 pm

beachbum wrote:So... who's still applying to Minnesota?


Image

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minnbills
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby minnbills » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:51 pm

.
Last edited by minnbills on Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:51 pm

Maybe a lot of transfer apps from Illinois ?

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daniel3.14
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby daniel3.14 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:22 pm

deadpoetnsp wrote:Are 1Ls at all T-50, T-25 or even T-14 schools happy with each class and each Prof from their 1L year? Aren't complaints against LW programs pretty universal across all law schools? Just search for "legal writing" here on TLS.


I have given dozens of reasons why it's uniquely bad here. Learn to scroll up.

Look, I can see already that you're just going to use the same lame "strategies" that the 0L used to "defend" the place. You're either going to use one of two tactics: (1) say, "it's not that bad," which merely acknowledges the fact that the problem exists and merely disputes how much importance should be attributed to it (which you shouldn't be doing for other people anyway, since this is purely subjective); or else (2) you're going to say, "all schools have this problem," attempting to "dilute the poison." The thing is that I've given a lot of really specific reasons why UMN is particularly bad relative to other schools, so this "strategy" won't work.

deadpoetnsp wrote:For every dark picture of UMN chosen to be posted above, a bright picture can be posted.


What is your point? Of course you can take photos that hide the disrepair and deterioration of that decrepit building. Who's disputing that you could point the camera away from the bare electrical wires dangling from the ceiling? Who's disputing that you could crop out the peeling paint and furniture-chained-to-the-floor? If you wanted to, you could make anything look pretty using photographic tricks.

Indeed, the school's website is a veritable photographer's handbook on trompe l'oeil with its silhouetted corridors and soft focus glamor shots. The whole point of the photos that I took and posted was that they showed what the school was really like. Now, unless you're suggesting that I photoshopped them, I don't see what your point is.

deadpoetnsp wrote:I met and spoke to more than 20 prospective students during one of the preview weekends. That was a bunch of applicants who had multiple offers, were shopping around, and had every reason to state any perceived deficiency in the facilities. Why did most of those students say that all law schools they had seen were more or less the same?


Because it's rude to tell someone to his face that his school looks more ghetto than a community college? Especially when you don't plan on going there? That might be why. And also because 20 is not a particularly large sample set?

deadpoetnsp wrote:With reference to ExamSoft, how many others complained of a similar problem? How come none of the dozens of 2Ls and 3Ls we have interacted with never said anything about a potential problem with ExamSoft? If there were more than a few, why didn't they talk as a group to the Dean about it to get something done? Why no mass protests about it?


I have. I know several others have. What's the point of trying to group up en masse when the school has repeatedly demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to address student concerns? It's clear from the outset that we wouldn't be able to organize anything near the scale of the P&P kerfuffle. It took threats of walk-outs, the support of the teachers actually teaching the course, and a petition with more than 90% of the 1L class before the retarded chimpanzees in the administration thought that maybe, possibly, potentially, they should consider the option of perhaps doing something about it. There's no way we'd be able to assemble that level of support. And the thing is that the only people that feel strongly about this are people who've already been screwed by it. Why would you stick your neck out if you've managed to dodge bullets so far?

This is really just an extremely cheap and unfairly framed argument, which is clearly made in a blind attempt to show "school pride."

deadpoetnsp wrote:The job market is exactly the same as that for any other school with a similar rank. Can you point to a single T25 school where 3Ls are bubbling with joy about the job market? I have met people from Illinois, Indiana-Bloomington and WUSTL who were extremely disappointed with the job situation. None of us expected UMN to provide stellar biglaw job options. Right from law preview weekend and orientation, the administration has made it clear that we are responsible for finding jobs and not the career services office. Why blame the school for the economy, when it is amply clear that the overall legal market has bottomed out?


Here you go again. You're trying to cover up UMN's deficits by kicking dirt around and saying other schools suffer from bad employment prospects, too. Sure, the point is that even though the entire legal employment market is depressed, UMN is doing particularly poorly in placing. There's been abundant discussion of this above. Yeah, no one is bubbling with joy about the job market anywhere, but that doesn't mean that there aren't relative differences between the schools. Just because students at Yale are feeling the effects of the economy and students at Yeshiva are feeling the effects of the economy, you cannot thereby infer that there's no difference between Yale and Yeshiva. For crying out loud, it's obvious that UMN is doing worse than other schools similarly ranked. A 3.9 GPA with LR didn't get a single call back after OCI. How bad does it need to get before we get to say it's "bad"?

jdamond wrote:The one thing that OP got totally wrong is his attitude. Yeah, Minnesota is a giant pile of dog shit. I don't personally know anyone here who would deny it, except maybe the employees. But how do you think you're going to survive all the way to graduation if you let it in? If you don't mind a little friendly advice, you need to learn to shut it out. You have to learn to pretend it's all good, or you'll kill yourself.


Yeah, well, gotta put on a different face/attitude when I'm actually there. But it would be pretty unfair to all the people, who are on this site, who are considering applying to UMN, to allow self-deception and psychotic-optimism sway my honest reactions to the place. I understand the impulse that a lot of people have to only say positive things, but that's really a disservice to other people.

I get your point. If you're a bug and you fall into a spider's web, then maybe you tell yourself it's not so bad, because what're you gonna do? You're stuck where you are, and that's that. But when that causes you to lure other bugs over, claiming that "it's not that bad," and "other places aren't any worse," which potentially causes them to get ensnared in the web as well, rather than warning them to steer clear, then you've really only managed to take other people down with you, which is not such a cool way of dealing with your problems. You'll forgive the bug metaphor.

As I've said a million times, I wish someone told me all this stuff about UMN before I accepted. I'd like to think I'd have made a different decision if I had all the information, and frankly, negative information is often the most useful sort of information to have when making decisions like this. So, I take your point, but I think that this just isn't the forum for the sort of self-delusion you're advocating. The point of posting here is to give the "real dirt" to prospective applicants -- at least, my version of it. Others are, of course, entitled to disagree.
Last edited by daniel3.14 on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:51 pm, edited 7 times in total.

dusk2k2
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby dusk2k2 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:30 pm

Dude, what's the deal with this 3.9 + LR guy not getting a single callback? Is there something wrong with him? I'm just saying because that is an extremely strange outlier. I'm not saying we've got the best placement, but seriously, everyone I've talked to with those sorts of numbers is doing fine with Minnesota firms at least. Definitely need some more context to understand that guy's situation.

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daniel3.14
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby daniel3.14 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:45 pm

dusk2k2 wrote:Dude, what's the deal with this 3.9 + LR guy not getting a single callback? Is there something wrong with him? I'm just saying because that is an extremely strange outlier. I'm not saying we've got the best placement, but seriously, everyone I've talked to with those sorts of numbers is doing fine with Minnesota firms at least. Definitely need some more context to understand that guy's situation.


I agree it's an outlier, but still.

As to "what the deal" is with this guy particularly, I dunno. Maybe he's just bad at interviewing. The whole process is a bit of a black box. I'm leery to hazard a guess.

Nevertheless, even if he were the worst interviewer in the world, you'd think that 3.9+LR would be dispositive for at least the local firms.

dusk2k2
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby dusk2k2 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:53 pm

Now, I'm not defending the school's employment statistics or anything, but I'd argue that with a 3.9 + LR, if you aren't getting a job, it probably isn't the name of the school that's keeping you from getting the job. I mean, 3.9 is probably in the top 10 students in the school. At that point, its more likely that something you are doing is turning off prospective employers. Basically, I'm saying that no employer is looking at a 3.9 + LR and going, ooh, Minnesota, that's just not good enough for us.

All the other things are pretty valid issues, but using an example of a 3.9 + LR guy not getting a job probably isn't the best example of the school's employment prospects since that is such an extreme outlier. Better to see how people at median or just off the cusp of top 10% or top quartile are doing (admittedly, I don't know how they are doing since my anecdotal evidence is based on people doing well at OCI).

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daniel3.14
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby daniel3.14 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:03 pm

dusk2k2 wrote:Basically, I'm saying that no employer is looking at a 3.9 + LR and going, ooh, Minnesota, that's just not good enough for us.

All the other things are pretty valid issues, but using an example of a 3.9 + LR guy not getting a job probably isn't the best example of the school's employment prospects since that is such an extreme outlier. Better to see how people at median or just off the cusp of top 10% or top quartile are doing (admittedly, I don't know how they are doing since my anecdotal evidence is based on people doing well at OCI).


Touché. Fair point. The guy's an outlier, and I only heard about him through a friend, so it's hearsay on top of that, strictly speaking. I concede the example may be less helpful than it is misleading, and I therefore retract it.

Maybe more info here generally would be warranted. So, from talking with career services folks, here is what I know: anywhere between 5-10 people in any given year are looking at realistic prospects of OCI jobs outside of the state. Not 5-10%, mind you. 5-10 people. Roughly 15% of any given class gets a summer job out of OCI.

Only the OCI people have really been active about job stuff thus far. 80% of people will get their 2L summer jobs during Spring Semester, so the data just isn't there for the rest of the class yet.

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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby neeko » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:43 pm

OP, thank you for posting this. I was considering applying here and am so happy I found this thread first. The commentary under the pictures was hilarious, by the way.

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daniel3.14
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby daniel3.14 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:30 am

neeko wrote:OP, thank you for posting this. I was considering applying here and am so happy I found this thread first. The commentary under the pictures was hilarious, by the way.


Sure, no problem! I'm glad you found it helpful, and I wish you good luck on your other law school applications!

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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby seanPtheB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:35 pm

such an epic thread. UMN should be absolutely ashamed.

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jayn3
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby jayn3 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:14 pm

For the record, OP is the guy who wore a suit to the first day of class (a white suit, no less), and proceeded to create a singularly awful reputation among our class within a few short days.

herbet herbert
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby herbet herbert » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:18 pm

As a UMN 2L, I don't really disagree with anything Danial said (except for the student adjuncts--mine were both excellent) and the laptops being all bad (mine works fine, no long start-ups and an excellent experience with the tech guys the one time something did go wrong... although I know many are terrible and a crapshoot is nothing to be proud of).

My only quibble would be with the emphasis (which, in fairness to Daniel, is due mostly to later posters vainly trying to attack the points he made instead of conceding them and moving on to the things that don't suck). As Daniel noted, the faculty is great, invariably in terms of professional accomplishment and often in terms of teaching ability. They're usually alumni of top ten schools, often Harvard/Yale. My torts professor had served more than a dozen UN commissions and has helped to pen a constitution; my civ-pro prof litigated the Microsoft anti-trust case. My crim-pro prof was the point-man on the model penal code's sentencing guidelines and my con-law professor wrote a Lawrence amici and is releasing a book on it later this year. My section's least favorite 1L prof (I liked her personally, altho she did tend to ramble) had both a PhD and a JD fron Yale. Other than a couple adjuncts, I've yet to have a professor that doesn't impress me--this strikes me as a lot more important than the terrible Brutist building (although it could be that I only think so because I went to GW for undergrad, where the abundance of nice, shiny facilities came at the expense of a dismal and adjunct-heavy teaching staff--I could pen a diatribe over that experience that could easily go head-to-head with this one).

Additionally, the student body here is incredibly collegial and friendly. Perhaps the reputation of law school as an arena of cut-throat competition, backstabbing, and snobbish elitism is entirely false. If so, UMN is nothing special... but I suspect that is not the case.

And the motive for having so many clinic programs may be silly, but the end result remains a shitload of clinics to choose from. I'm in one now, and plan to take another next year; given that several e-mails were sent out at the end of the summer advertising open slots in clinics like Prosecution Appeals and the Innocence Project, I don't expect to have any trouble doing so.

thelonedynamo
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby thelonedynamo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:04 pm

Please stop cyberbullying the University of Minnesota.

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daniel3.14
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby daniel3.14 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:57 pm

jayn3 wrote:For the record, OP is the guy who wore a suit to the first day of class (a white suit, no less), and proceeded to create a singularly awful reputation among our class within a few short days.


This is the classic ad hominem fallacy. Because you're unable to refute the factual bases for criticism of the school, you resort to personal attacks on the critic, which is cheap, bad argumentation, and extraordinarily cowardly.

For the record, you're thinking of Daniel Li. I'm not him. To repeat: I am not Daniel Li. And I don't own a white suit (whatever that signifies in your mind). Don't you feel clever now?

And supposing I were Mr. Li -- what difference would that make, anyway? Would the fact that the school is a giant heap of buffalo crunk be somehow mitigated by your impugning the bearer of that news? Would the photos of the furniture chained down, the peeling paint, the exposed electrical wires dangling from the ceiling be any less disturbing? Would it make the video of the school-issued laptop (which I remind everyone is a required purchase with no opt-out) depict anything other than that it takes five minutes to boot up? I think not.

Really, it'd be very easy to discover who I really am if you had more than two braincells. Unlike you, I'm not a libelous, fallacy-hurling troglodyte, who hides behind a newly created anonymous account.

You moron (a vapid moron, no less).

thelonedynamo wrote:Please stop cyberbullying the University of Minnesota.


A lot of one-post accounts suddenly springing up. I guess we know now that Dean Wippman has learned how to make a sock puppets. Photos don't lie, sir. Your policies are what they are. Your laptop program is what it is. And the school is what it is. A dump.

herbet herbert wrote:Additionally, the student body here is incredibly collegial and friendly. Perhaps the reputation of law school as an arena of cut-throat competition, backstabbing, and snobbish elitism is entirely false. If so, UMN is nothing special... but I suspect that is not the case.


Ironic, considering what the above poster says about poor Mr. Li, who's sadly been the butt of many a snide remark -- though he does invite it somewhat with a deliberate weirdness, which one cannot help but feel borders on affectation.

Actually, I'm inclined to agree that the student body is generally collegial and friendly. I would disagree with you about UMN being special in this regard. I think the days of backstabbing and snobbish elitism are tales of a bygone era. And anyway, it does not make sense why UMN would attract a friendlier student body than other schools. It's not like the UMN admissions people give weight to amicability in the culling process. Simply put, the theoretical friendliness of next year's student body does not redeem the school, and it should not be a factor for anyone contemplating attending UMN.

Moreover, while I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the faculty (I gather you were in Section A), I would point out that comparably ranked schools employ equally esteemed educators, without the very substantial baggage that comes with UMN. Certainly, anyone choosing between a T4 school and UMN should choose UMN. But when dealing with other schools in T1, there is no reason (other than perhaps geographic preference) to prefer UMN to any other T1 school. And there are a lot of reasons, unique to UMN, which single this school out as being particularly undesirable.
Last edited by daniel3.14 on Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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dvd
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby dvd » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:28 pm

daniel3.14 wrote:
dusk2k2 wrote:Basically, I'm saying that no employer is looking at a 3.9 + LR and going, ooh, Minnesota, that's just not good enough for us.

All the other things are pretty valid issues, but using an example of a 3.9 + LR guy not getting a job probably isn't the best example of the school's employment prospects since that is such an extreme outlier. Better to see how people at median or just off the cusp of top 10% or top quartile are doing (admittedly, I don't know how they are doing since my anecdotal evidence is based on people doing well at OCI).


Touché. Fair point. The guy's an outlier, and I only heard about him through a friend, so it's hearsay on top of that, strictly speaking. I concede the example may be less helpful than it is misleading, and I therefore retract it.

Maybe more info here generally would be warranted. So, from talking with career services folks, here is what I know: anywhere between 5-10 people in any given year are looking at realistic prospects of OCI jobs outside of the state. Not 5-10%, mind you. 5-10 people. Roughly 15% of any given class gets a summer job out of OCI.

Only the OCI people have really been active about job stuff thus far. 80% of people will get their 2L summer jobs during Spring Semester, so the data just isn't there for the rest of the class yet.


I understand that you do not enjoy the university, but I think your experience may be more unique to you than you think. I am a 2L, in the same program, and my grades are right at the median. I have a summer associateship out of state with a big law firm that gives six figure offers to 75% of their SAs. Although I do count myself lucky, I am certainly not one out of five or ten - a fair number of people get jobs outside of Minnesota/Wisconsin.

It's one thing to rag on your school for not providing you with the opportunities you thought you were going to get. It's another thing entirely to squander the opportunities you receive.

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dvd
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby dvd » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:29 pm

jayn3 wrote:For the record, OP is the guy who wore a suit to the first day of class (a white suit, no less), and proceeded to create a singularly awful reputation among our class within a few short days.


+Like

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daniel3.14
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby daniel3.14 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:50 pm

dvd wrote:
jayn3 wrote:For the record, OP is the guy who wore a suit to the first day of class (a white suit, no less), and proceeded to create a singularly awful reputation among our class within a few short days.


+Like


Scroll up, dumb ass. That's not me.

dvd wrote:It's one thing to rag on your school for not providing you with the opportunities you thought you were going to get. It's another thing entirely to squander the opportunities you receive.


Thanks for the life lesson. Let us now say a prayer to the UMN gods for the bountiful gifts they've bestowed upon us.

thelonedynamo
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby thelonedynamo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:00 pm

.

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jayn3
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby jayn3 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:04 pm

daniel3.14 wrote:
dvd wrote:
jayn3 wrote:For the record, OP is the guy who wore a suit to the first day of class (a white suit, no less), and proceeded to create a singularly awful reputation among our class within a few short days.


+Like


Scroll up, dumb ass. That's not me.


I legitimately did not know there were two Daniels until tonight. Let alone two Daniels who have built a hell of a reputation for themselves. Sorry, dude. Keep up the good fight, I guess...?

herbet herbert
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Re: University of Minnesota 2L Taking Questions...

Postby herbet herbert » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:25 pm

daniel3.14 wrote:...And anyway, it does not make sense why UMN would attract a friendlier student body than other schools. It's not like the UMN admissions people give weight to amicability in the culling process. Simply put, the theoretical friendliness of next year's student body does not redeem the school, and it should not be a factor for anyone contemplating attending UMN.
I would expect it to be a result of the high number of Minnesotans and other upper-midwest types, whose stereotype of "being extraordinarily nice and polite" is, in my experience, 100% true (the odd anonymous flame notwithstanding).




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